Dearborn, Michigan – Ford Works, 3M and GE Healthcare will build ventilators, faceshields and respirators using off-the shelf parts such as “fans from the Ford F-150’s cooled seats for airflow, 3M HEPA air filters to filter airborne contaminants such as droplets that carry virus particles and portable tool battery packs to power these respirators for up to eight hours”.
We’re proud to work with @3M, @GEHealthcare and @UAW to lend our engineering and manufacturing expertise to quickly expand production of urgently needed medical equipment and supplies for healthcare workers, first responders and patients fighting #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/fzMMDjgVmS— Ford Motor Company (@Ford) March 24, 2020
The partenrship with 3M and GE Healthcare is announced today in a press release as a message U.S. medical workers as the coronavirus pandemic threatens to overwhelm their supply.
Ford said it initially would be able to make,in cooperation with the UAW, up to 100,000 (per week) critically needed plastic face shields for medical workers. The first 1,000 face shields will be tested this week at Detroit Mercy, Henry Ford Health Systems and Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace Hospitals
In addition to this, Ford is also taking back 165K N95 respirators from China that were originally sent by Ford to China earlier this year to help combat coronavirus.
Ford team members are working with 3M to increase the manufacturing capacity of their powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) designs and working jointly to develop a new design leveraging parts from both companies to meet the surge demand for first responders and health care workers.
Ford is also leveraging its in-house 3D printing capability to produce disposable respirators for healthcare workers.
“Working with 3M and GE, we have empowered our teams of engineers and designers to be scrappy and creative to quickly help scale up production of this vital equipment,” said Jim Hackett, Ford’s president and CEO